The long summer holiday
John writes: There has been much discussion in the UK about children forgetting what they have learned during the long summer holidays. But the challenges to learning faced by children in Nigeria are even greater due to the larger class sizes and few resources in many schools. Children in Kadarko have never had the opportunity of being kept busy during the long vacation from July to September. Unfortunately, there is not enough farm work or harvest at this time, so it can be boring for children.
The choice to go back to school!
A group of us in Kafanchan decided to organize a free summer school for these children from Kadarko, about 8km from the Fantsuam headquarters. We offered to provide teaching for four weeks for children from age four, to young adults preparing for their final secondary school examinations. On the first day of registration we enrolled 26 children and by the end of the week we had 164 children of all classes enrolled. We were taken aback by the attendance and soon realized that this summer school is meeting a need in these communities.
School alternatives for children and adults
These children attend local government schools and it is rare for them to enjoy going to school and be eager to take homework home at the end of each day as they have from the summer school. We think there is a need for an alternative to the local government school in Kadarko and we are thinking how to provide this. Kadarko is a farming community located on the Kafanchan - Manchok highway. It's easy access to the main roads makes it a central service location for several satellite villages. It is not only children that want to seize the opportunity to learn. We have been requested to provide evening adult literacy classes. We expect that there will be a greater demand for this service than we can meet when we plan to start in October.